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Otto Glacier Melt Out

August 30 2017 at 8:34 AM
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Bob  (Login reboyles)

Response to North Face of Borah TR

I first saw the North Face of Mt Borah in the summer of 1972 when I was working on a helicopter job for the Forest Service. We were flying up at Horse Heaven pass and I got some really good views of the face almost every day we were up there. That year the face was all bare, and covered with steely looking ice that made it stand out from anything I'd ever seen in Idaho. We went back to the area in 1974 and visited the East Face cirque and found it too was covered in ice. In '76 and '77 we made four more trips to the North Face and climbed it on all but one trip where we got hammered by a thunder storm. In 1976 we found Bruce's "rocket ship" snow gage down on the moraine below what would become Psycho Therapy. I was going to BSU at the time and had heard about his discovery of Idaho's only known glacier so we knew what the rocket was for. On one of our trips in the mid 80s we discovered that a massive avalanche had occurred taking most of the previous winter's snowfall with it. Bruce's snow measuring equipment was wiped out and carried almost a mile down to where it now sits.


NF 1976 - Everything in the photo is solid ice that had been dusted with the season's first snowfall
NF Borah 1976

NF 1990 - We were in shock when we saw this. The glacier and lower ice fields were almost gone. This was the last photo of the old ice cover that was estimated to be over 500 years old
NF Borah0006

Mike "frenching" on the lower ice field that we estimated to be at least 50' thick

EF 1974 - If you look closely you can see the old blue ice showing in places. Under the snow the ice appeared to be over 50' thick.
EF Borah 1974

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